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Indefinite Neutrality


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#1 Offline Padishah Mehmet II

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Posted Oct 14 2011 - 11:35 AM

"You're mad," blankly denoted a hooded Toa of Psionics that the hood, however, failed to not reveal that she wore a Ruru.That was, frankly, an understatement. One would have to have some serious problems in the head to decide to do what the person who she was talking to just had. But Galadan didn't care, because when he was planning something, he didn't give a darn whether it was mad or not.He was a Toa of Ice, his Miru scarred with wounds of battles from long ago. His expression blank, but his eyes filled with anger and hate.Galadan started off, in the very beginning, as a pickpocket, a Matoran in the streets of New Atero. The Melding left his people virtually on the verge of war, as the races of the Matoran Universe felt the hostility between them and the peoples of Bara Magna increase to devastating effects. Suddenly, this mania for racial wars started. From wars inbetween the Matoran and the Agori to slaughters of Skakdi by Skrall, or even by Toa. Galadan found his little refugee city collapse under the fist of war, become a huge prison used by the local Matoran rulers to hold other races. Most Matoran fled the city, disdainfully looking at the walls built to contain the Agori and the Glatorian.After a millenium of bloody wars and genocides, Galadan found himself looking at a world that was better off when it was going extinct. Spherus Magna was devastated, economies were destroyed, thousands of refugees everywhere, entire races left moribund on the brink of extinction. Agori, Glatorian and Skrall forced into forced labor, the great Toa and Turaga of days long before now mostly dead, the Toa Code left behind as a relic of an ancient past. Skakdi and Steltians regarded as lesser races as well, the Vortixx well on the way to extinction and death. And above it all stood the Matoran, Galadan's own people, who he could not help but blame for what he saw. He thought of the local government as useless, corrupt, and most of all, evil.It remains a mystery on how exactly Galadan became a Toa. But it would be expected that he found his newfound power and strength refreshing, to say the least. He felt the elemental powers surge through his body, he knew he had to show the world, the world he hated to no end, just what the Karzahni he was made of.A dagger, with only a narrow motion of Galadan's hand, was removed from the surface of a map lying on a desk right beside the chair on which he was sitting. Judging by the many marks on the paper, the map was rather fancifully decorated with the weapon. Only seconds later, the dagger was flying at a speed that irritated the Toa of Psionics to no end. The direction was similarly annoying in the manner that the female Toa was now forced to raise her hand and simply freeze (not literally, of course) the dagger inbetween her fingers before throwing it back."Tell me something I don't know," Galadan spoke, with no emotion or tone whatsoever, catching the weapon at the same moment.The room they were in was dark. Particularly dark, illuminated only by a candlelight standing on the desk. The desk was almost awkwardly, er, 'decorated' with a map, dozens of daggers, a radio and a dozen other things that hinted to Galadan's current occupation. The light illuminated a door behind the Toa of Psionics, and a shillouette in the far edge of the room that looked like a two-story-bed and someone lying on the lower half.There was a window on that same side of the room, but it didn't shed much light because, well, it was night and a particularly rainy and not-clear at that one, so it didn't irritate the sleeping fellow, who, for miliseconds while the candlelight would become slightly stronger and then die down again, would be revealed to be a Glatorian who apparently once used to be part of the Fire Tribe.The Toa of Psionics just stood there, her arms crossed and expression obviously demanding a better response. Upon receiving none, she just shifted uneasily, though her face annoyed."Shouldn't we at least wake Yankad? He won't like that he's missed out on something like this.""Yankad's tired," Galadan disapprovingly shook his head. "That was a hard job he was at just now, Ciryaa. Let the guy get some sleep once in a while."The Toa of Psionics was about to reply that Yankad is never too tired for raids, when she noticed Galadan's expression. It was an order, not a suggestion. Ciryaa twitched almost unnoticably."I still have a bad feeling about this."Galadan stood up and moved towards the door."You have a bad feeling about everything," he said, just seconds before opening the door and exiting, soon to be followed by Ciryaa.---------------------------------------------------------------Galadan's longsword clashed with a Matoran guard's halberd. His superior strength allowed him to press the sword forward, pushing the soldier down, while he, in the process, grabbed the Matoran with the other hand, channeling his elemental powers through - the Matoran froze up within seconds.Ciryaa was backing Galadan up from behind, organizedly penetrating the minds of guard after guard. The soldiers watched in horror as their own hands would turn against them, raise their swords, and just before the blades would cut their throats all of them would think, "Why am I doing this?" - without the slightest amount of philosophy.Toa were a bit more difficult - to take them down, the pair would have to attack together. Ciryaa would continuously barrage their mental defenses while Galadan's hand would reach out, blasts of ice launching towards the Toa. No doubt they would block them, but in the process would come Galadan, his eyes burning with rage like something straight out of a storybook, his sword launching forward and resulting, ultimately, in instant death for the guards as they found themselves attacked both mentally and physically, with too little will and concentration to defend from both.Now they were moving into the courtyard of the lord of Kayhar's manor, Galadan's raid target for tonight. So far, they were lucky. A successful descent from the surrounding buildings into the territory of the palace was followed by a long and painful fight with the guards that ended up rather well for now, no major wounds. They had to get through here fast or more guards would show up.Ciryaa's Ruru revealed, in the surrounding dark, a series of ledges which they could climb to reach a window in the manor. Galadan used his Miru to raise himself to the window, helping Ciryaa up afterwards.The pair ended up in a small, but well-furnished room - there stood a long and extensive bookshelf that suddenly provoked an urge within the Toa of Psionics to take several... or several hundred books, and also a rather expensive collection of furniture that included a rather huge bed, a table and two chairs next to it that all looked as if they belonged to the Turaga. There also was a fireplace, and a wardrobe. None of this interested Galadan, who instead went straight for a chest in the corner, where he, to much personal happiness, found a couple of pieces of jewelry and other valuable items that'd sell for a lot. Coins, too. Shiny, valuable coins."Let's go," he nodded towards the door out of the room after a while. 'We need to get to the lord's study. That's where we'll get what we need.'The Toa of Ice was about to open the door as it blasted open and sent him flying a way back as well, the flames that were to blame for that spilling over into the room. Ciryaa immediately mentally struck at her opponent, a Toa of Fire that entered moments later, in order to buy Galadan time. However, this Toa's defenses weren't as primitive as the others'. He didn't seem to mind, as he walked up to Galadan, who tried withdrawing but his back soon touched the wall.The Toa of Fire drew his sword and was just about to put it through Galadan, as the Toa of Ice haphazardly released a wild blast of ice at his opponent, buying himself just enough time to draw his sword out again and striking at his opponent, who parried the slash at the very last minute. That was when Ciryaa released a blast of Psionic energy at the Toa, who was too beset to defend himself. Galadan saw the opportunity and took a step forward, for his sword to trace a lethal semicircle - particularly lethal to the Toa, who then took the fleeting chance to draw his last breath.Minutes later, the guards stationed in a corridor that led to the doors of the estate found themselves being overwhelmed by a blast, or rather an avalanche, of ice crushing everything in its way throwing itself straight forwards. The more fortunate guards, those who became icicles, noticed the cause of the avalanche, two Toa, one of Psionics and one of Ice, instead of going towards the door, went into the lord's study.Galadan kicked the door to the study straight off its hinges, proceeding to ransack everything he found of worth in the study, from papers he found on the desk, to whatever he found in the pockets of the coats in the wardrobe, taking everything he could with no regard to the usefulness of it whatsoever. Ciryaa recognized this was a sign of the need to hurry, and it was rational, because the lord's guards would come soon. When finally Galadan stumbled upon some sort of locket in the desk's shelf, he nodded - briefly, before running straight out.Again, the guards, though this time the ones guarding the outside of the main gate, would witness an avalanche overturning them and transforming them into icicles.---------------------------------------------------------------"The sand bog didn't you invite me?" was their first greeting upon returning to their hideout in the highest floor of a skyscraper, addressed, strangely, to Ciryaa, by Yankad, an exceptionally big Glatorian that descended from the Fire Tribe. "You raid the palace of one of those lordshippy dolts and you don't invite me? For just whom do you take me?""A Glatorian with too much eagerness and too little concern for your own health," answered Galadan, as he brushed the warrior aside and proceeded to return to his typical position on the chair next to his desk. Seconds later, the desk was covered by a thick layer of recent loot. "You're wounded, Yankad, ever since yesterday. You have to heal. You won't take vengeance if you're dead."That shut the Glatorian up, indefinitely. Yankad proceeded to sit on his bed again.Yankad started his life off, like most Glatorian, on the street, under the strict thumb of poverty, squalor and, occasionally, slavery. Galadan and him met, similarly, also on the street. In a well-known underground boxing establishment, where the two argued, then brawled, then afterwards, as if it was an old cliche movie, the two became good friends. It might've been friendship with a Toa or something else that gave Yankad a new viewpoint, but eventually, he started wanting more. He developed a goal for his life, something Glatorian usually didn't have nowadays. His goal - vengeance. Yankad aspired to kill as many nobles and rulers in his life as possible, to take his anger out on those who pressed him, and his people, into servitude.Galadan introduced Yankad to an old friend of Galadan's, Ciryaa, with similar aspirations. The trio called themselves the Threeblade, and that name would become soon known throughout the whole of Spherus Magna. Together, they became the leading special mercenaries in all of the lands of the Turagadom of Aramaanx. They based in the city of Kayhar, offering their services - anything from assassination to retrieving military-owned documents - for actually rather decent prices."Galadan, what was the task for today in the first place?" Ciryaa asked, apparently having waited for a long time to ask this."This," said Galadan, as he drew out the locket he found in the lord's desk. "The client is going to pay at least a few thousands, apparently.""This? This little trinket?" laughed Yankad. "You broke into the lord's palace for a locket? And you're going to get a few thousands? For a locket?"Nobody answered him.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A really old story of mine. "Really old" as in, "before the downtime". I was urged by a couple of my friends to repost my stories, so, well, here it is.Would like criticism to be light due to the fact that I have improved heavily since this story either way.
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#2 Offline Allanon Loke

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Posted Oct 15 2011 - 07:16 PM

Nice story, dark but still well written. The action was well laid out, as well as giving background info on the characters when needed instead of clumping all the introductions in the beginning. The opening sentence grabbed my attention right away. Good job.
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#3 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted May 20 2012 - 03:20 PM

I loved the plot. It's an enthralling setting, this future Spherus Magna, divided by a schism of races, smothered by the iron fist of war and tyranny. And this band of merry rogues you've created have a Zorro or Robin Hood vibe to them; except that they seem less noble. They're not fighting oppression for the sake of the innocent or stealing from the rich and giving to the poor; they're stealing from oppression for their own gain. They're antiheroes, simultaneously likeable and dislikable. I love what you've created here. My only complaint is the backstory and the glimpse into the future; I think you laid it on a little too thick, or at least in the wrong places. I liked how you worked them in among the talespinning rather than making them an intro and postlude, but I think they could have been dispersed a little more.Still, I like your characters and plot, and you leave me wanting more story and detail, which is good if you plan to develop this story universe further.I find your style and grammar, however, to be--problematic. There is something vivid, fluidic, and eloquent about your prose--and yet jarring and abrasive. There is a very colorful, very human tone to your narration--almost too much, at times, as when you used er and well, and when you mentioned a movie. Your descriptions try to pull me into the world you're conjuring with your words, but then your grammar pulls me back out because I have to pause and figure out what you really mean to say. Without proper grammar, no matter how elegant your style, the words don't flow properly. You have a beautiful singing voice, but your musical accompaniment is so discordant that it ruins the beauty. It is almost the effect of a writer who has learned a new language verbally and then tried to write with it. They write well in their own language, but do not understand English well enough to use it to their advantage.This combination of masterful writing style and bad grammar is a very strange one. I think with a better understanding of grammar your writing would be superb, but as it stands now it's both beautiful and ugly, which is tearing my brain in two.There are too many mistakes to point them all out, but here are some of the most prominent:

"You're mad," blankly denoted a hooded Toa of Psionics that the hood, however, failed to not reveal that she wore a Ruru.

The emboldened words were expertly fluent, a wonderful way to start your story and pull your reader right in. But then you knocked your reader back out again with the rest of the sentence, which should either have been separated or, better yet, removed entirely. I didn't need to know at that very moment she wore a Ruru. That she was a Toa of Psionics was enough.

That was, frankly, an understatement. One would have to have some serious problems in the head to decide to do what the person who she was talking to just had.

That who should be whom, and moreover the structure "to whom she was talking" might sound better.

He was a Toa of Ice, his Miru scarred with wounds of battles from long ago. His expression was blank, but his eyes were filled with anger and hate.

In bold are words I added, for without them, the sentence was too awkward. It sounded as if you were saying his eyes were filling with hatred at that moment, in which case the but made no sense. I grasped the meaning anyway, but the sentence was jarring.

Galadan had started off, in the very beginning, as a pickpocket, a Matoran in the streets of New Atero. The Melding left his people virtually on the verge of war, as the races of the Matoran Universe felt the hostility between them and the peoples of Bara Magna increase to devastating effects. Suddenly, this mania for racial wars started. From wars inbetween the Matoran and the Agori to slaughters of Skakdi by Skrall, or even by Toa. Galadan had found his little refugee city collapse under the fist of war, become a huge prison used by the local Matoran rulers to hold other races.

I added had. You're writing in past tense, so when it is in the past to your story it should be in pluperfect (double past tense). Otherwise it seems that it's going on at the very moment your story is taking place, which this did not.I can't tell if that as was meant in the manner of for or while. It would be better replaced with one of those for clarity.Another had that was missing; but also, found does not make sense. If collapse was in past tense it would work, but better, I think, to replace found with seen or watched. As for the comma, it should either be replaced or followed by and.

After a millenium of bloody wars and genocides,

Two Ns in millennium.

The direction was similarly annoying in the manner that the female Toa was now forced to raise her hand and simply freeze (not literally, of course) the dagger inbetween her fingers before throwing it back.

Words need to speak for themselves. Well, actually, that's wrong; they need to speak for you and what you're writing about. If you have to explain or justify a word, it doesn't belong.Also, inbetween is not a word; in between is two, but between alone would suffice here. Considering, however, that my main complaint was on the grounds of grammar, this was quite excellent. I love your style and your story; grammar is your only problem. With that improvement, you would be great.

From the desk of Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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